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The State of State Standards Post-Common Core

Eight years ago, we compared states’ English language arts (ELA) and mathematics standards to what were then the newly-minted Common Core State Standards. That report found that the Common Core was clearer and more rigorous than the ELA standards in thirty-seven states and stronger than the math standards in thirty-nine states.

While many states have, to varying degrees, revised their standards since 2010, the questions that should concern policymakers and the public haven’t changed: Are states’ ELA and math standards of sufficient quality and rigor to drive effective instruction? And if not, how might they be improved?

David Griffith, Victoria McDougald, Solomon Friedberg, Diane Barone, Juliana Belding, Andrew Chen, Linda Dixon 8.22.2018
NationalReport
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The Red Tape Report: An Exploratory Study of the Regulatory Interference Faced by School Leaders in Five States

In public education today, individual schools are accountable under the federal No Child Left Behind Act as well as myriad state and local policy regimens for their students achievement and other vital outcomes. Increasingly, school leaders find their own job tenure and compensation tied to those outcomes as well. But do they possess the authority they need to lead their schools to heightened performance? Numerous surveys (conducted by Public Agenda, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, and others) suggest that many school leaders feel they do not. Thus an important public policy question arises: what factors help or hinder school leaders in exercising their authority and in which areas?

Nathan Gray, Matthew Carr, Marc Holley 10.2.2008
NationalReport
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Ohio Value-Added Primer

Beginning in August 2008, Ohio's academic accountability system includes a value-added component that measures student academic progress in addition to achievement. Fordham created this short primer on value-added to help business people, lawmakers, policymakers, and others understand this powerful but complex tool.

8.25.2008
NationalReport
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Education Olympics 2008: The Games in Review

This report has a simple aim: to present results from international assessments so readers can judge for themselves how American students stack up globally. It shows how the U.S. has performed internationally in education in recent years, and it provides a glimpse of how education looks in several top-performing nations.

Stafford Palmieri, Amber M. Northern, Ph.D. 8.25.2008
NationalReport
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Sweating the Small Stuff: Inner-City Schools and the New Paternalism

The most exciting innovation in education policy in the last decade is the emergence of highly effective schools in our nation's inner cities, schools where disadvantaged teens make big gains in academic achievement. In this book, David Whitman takes readers inside six of these secondary schools—many of them charter schools—and reveals the secret to their success: They are paternalistic.

David Whitman 8.15.2008
NationalReport
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High-Achieving Students in the Era of No Child Left Behind

This publication reports the results of the first two (of five) studies of a multifaceted research investigation of the state of high-achieving students in the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) era. Part I examines achievement trends for high-achieving students since the early 1990s; Part II reports on teachers' own views of how schools are serving high-achieving pupils in the NCLB era.

Steve Farkas, Ann Duffett, Tom Loveless 6.18.2008
NationalReport
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Who Will Save America's Urban Catholic Schools?

America's urban Catholic schools are in crisis. Over 1,300 of them have shut down since 1990, mostly in our cities. As a result, some 300,000 students have been displaced--double the number affected by Hurricanes Rita and Katrina. This report, which includes a comprehensive survey of the attitudes of U.S. Catholics and the broader public towards inner-city Catholic schools, examines this crisis and offers several suggestions for arresting and perhaps reversing this trend in the interests of better education.

Scott Hamilton 4.10.2008
NationalReport
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Fund The Child: Bringing Equity, Autonomy, and Portability to Ohio School Finance

Ohio can boast of praiseworthy gains over the past decade in making school funding more equitable across districts, but there is more work to be done. To mitigate the school-finance inequities that remain within districts and gear school funding toward the realities of student mobility, school choice and effective school-based management, this report recommends that Ohio embrace Weighted Student Funding (WSF), which allocates resources based on the needs of individual students and by sending dollars directly to schools rather than lodging most spending decisions at the district level.

3.12.2008
NationalReport
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Too Good to Last: The True Story of Reading First

Too Good to Last: The True Story of Reading First is an in-depth and alarming study of Reading First's betrayal. Under the leadership of White House domestic policy chief Margaret Spellings and with support from Congress, Reading First was to provide funding to primary-reading programs that were based on scientific research. Backlash and brouhaha followed. Aggrieved whole-language program proprietors complained bitterly that their wares couldn't be purchased with Reading First funds. Then the administration turned its back on Reading First, allowing the program to be gutted and starved of funding.

Sol Stern 3.5.2008
NationalReport
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The Leadership Limbo

In the era of No Child Left Behind, principals are increasingly held accountable for student performance. But are teacher labor agreements giving them enough flexibility to manage effectively? The Leadership Limbo: Teacher Labor Agreements in America's Fifty Largest School Districts, answers this question and others.

Frederick M. Hess, Coby Loup 2.14.2008
NationalReport
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Thomas B. Fordham Foundation Sponsorship Accountability Report 2007

For information on Fordham's unique role as a charter school sponsor in Ohio, there's no better source than The Thomas B. Fordham Foundation Sponsorship Accountability Report 2006-07. The report offers a comprehensive account of Fordham's sponsorship policies and practices-as well as individual profiles of all Fordham-sponsored schools. Included in the profiles are descriptions of each school's educational program, school philosophy, and overall academic performance.

Sheila Byrd Carmichael, Carol Jago, Lucien Ellington, Paul Gross, Sheldon Stern 11.28.2007
NationalReport
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Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate: Do They Deserve Gold Star Status?

This report examines whether the reputation the Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs have for academic excellence is truly deserved. Our expert reviewers looked at the four AP and IB courses most similar to the core content areas in American high schools--English, history, math, and science--and found that, in general, the courses do warrant praise. In a few cases, they deserve gold stars.

11.13.2007
NationalReport
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Alternative Certification Isn't Alternative

At first glance, the explosive growth of 'alternative' teacher certification--which is supposed to allow able individuals to teach in public schools without first passing through a college of education--appears to be one of the great success stories of modern education reform. But, as this report reveals, alternative certification programs have so far failed to provide a real alternative to traditional education schools. In fact, they represent a significant setback for education reform advocates.

Kate Walsh, Sandi Jacobs 9.18.2007
NationalReport